As GM Authority covered back in September 2023, production of the Cruise Origin – an autonomous robotaxi designed from the ground up to transport passengers without pedals or a steering wheel – was to commence shortly. Now, General Motors has opted to pause Cruise Origin production following the string of recent incidents and controversies the self-driving subsidiary has been embroiled in.
According to a report from Forbes, the decision to halt production of the Cruise Origin arises company’s decision to pause all autonomous driving across the U.S. following an NHSTA investigation and California DMV suspension.
“During this pause we’re going to use our time wisely,” Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt claimed in a prepared statement. “And so if we want to rebuild trust with these groups, we have got to make sure that we are having those discussions and they hear things from us first and not from the press. So, candidly because we’ve had some leaks about information coming out of this meeting we have got to be careful what we share from this meeting, or these efforts to rebuild trust could backfire.”
It’s worth noting that Vogt also mentioned that hundreds of Cruise Origin units have already been manufactured, and this would suffice for development needs for the time being.
“More broadly speaking, we believe autonomous vehicles will transform the way people move around the world, and the Origin is an important part of the AV journey,” GM spokesperson Chaiti Sen stated. “It’s the first scalable vehicle ever designed specifically for autonomous rides and will make transportation more accessible.”
As a brief reminder, Cruise asked the NHSTA for approval to deploy the Cruise Origin units back in March 2023. This exemption is needed due to the robotaxi unit’s lack of manual steering controls and pedals. With the recent incidents and reports, it stands to reason that this approval may be put on the back burner for the time being.